May 06, 2008 09:00 ET Gift Certificates: The Perfect Last-Minute Gift Idea for Mother's Day!

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - May 6, 2008) - The perfect last minute gift idea for Mother's Day is a Gift Certificate! is the world's first person-to-person microlending website, allowing individuals to make a loan of as little as $25 to entrepreneurs in the developing world, such as a goat herder in Uganda, a rice farmer in Ecuador or a carpet weaver in Afghanistan.

Endorsed by President Clinton and Oprah Winfrey, is raising loan funds for developing world entrepreneurs at a rate of $1 million every 12 days.

How it works

--  Gift certificates are easily purchased on in multiples of
--  The gift certificate is then emailed to the recipient, or can be
    printed and delivered personally.
--  Gift recipients redeem their gift online and then choose an
    entrepreneur to lend the gift to.
--  Throughout the course of the loan (typically 12 months) lenders
    receive email updates on repayments made and the progress of the business.
--  When the loan is repaid, the funds are returned and the gift recipient
    can lend to another entrepreneur, or withdraw their funds from the system.

Why is this gift unique?

When a Kiva loan is made, the lender becomes personally connected to someone in the developing world who is working their way out of poverty. Whether they desire to support working mothers, farmers in Latin America or those affected by HIV/AIDS, the platform gives them the opportunity to lend according to their areas of interest.

When the loan is repaid, the lender has the opportunity to help another person with the same gift, multiplying the social good created by the loan, or withdraw the funds and buy themselves a gift to celebrate Mother's Day!

Since its launch in Q4 2005, more than $29.6 million has been loaned by 285,500 Kiva Lenders to 43,000 entrepreneurs in 36 countries through The organization has been covered by the "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Today Show," The New York Times, PBS, "ABC World News," CNN, Time, and BusinessWeek, among others.

About ( is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to an entrepreneur in the developing world. Founded in 2005 by Matt and Jessica Flannery,'s mission is to connect people, through lending, to alleviate poverty. currently connects lenders in more than 70 countries with entrepreneurs in 42 developing countries, through 89 microfinance partners. is headquartered in San Francisco.

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